Advent Day #21 Xmas Around the World

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Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love. – Hamilton Wright Mabie

Last Sunday, the Steamboat United Methodist Church had an impressive holiday extravaganza – enough to put any “Scrooge” in the spirit.  Through the generosity of so many artistically talented people helping to bring it all together, an unforgettable production of Christmas around the World was brought to the second service of the day.

It was a huge accomplishment requiring too many people to name individually. The bell choir, the vocalists of the Chancel Choir and the Childrens Choir, Soprano Keri Rusthoi http://www.kerirusthoi.com and the children who were dressed as characters from the Bible, helped to tell the beautiful Christmas story from different perspectives recounting holiday traditions from around the world.

“Tweens” (ages 10 – 12) played the part of news anchors and reporters. It was as if the children from the United Methodist Church were standing in town squares broadcasting from England, the Caribbean, France, Italy, the Ukraine, the Czech Republic and Germany, thanks to the creativity of the video production teacher at Steamboat Springs High School.

But that’s not all! As the community gathered in Fellowship Hall after the service for wonderful refreshments, creches from places in the U.S. and around the World were on display for all to see and appreciate. In today’s photos I have captured images of a few of them.

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Please come back to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow. The topic will continue on better understanding our world through multi-cultural learning about holiday traditions.

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard,  award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. For more information about her memoir, an anthology of stories about multi-cultural love and understanding, please visit these websites.

Audio Book http://amzn.to/1trrTl9
Paperback http://amzn.to/1qmcEHI
e-Book http://amzn.to/1lx7oRh

 

 

 

 

Advent Day #13 Meaning Behind Blossom

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Advent Day #13

A Frequently Asked Question: “What is the significance of the flowers on the book cover?”

The flowers on the cover of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected relates to an Easter Story retold in a simple and unique dialect by Fanny, the stellar character in the award-winning book . Briefly, the twelve year old “Battoney” twins come to understand the deeper meaning behind the beautiful blossom.

To read the backstory about this beautiful flower, the dogwood, check out this article.  https://allthingsfulfilling.com/2011/04/04/a-gift-in-perpetuity-from-japan/.

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The personal story as related by the author is featured in a chapter in Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

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This blog is brought to you the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on her memoir, please visit these links.

Audio Book http://amzn.to/1trrTl9
Paperback http://amzn.to/1qmcEHI
e-Book http://amzn.to/1lx7oRh

Film Friday: Sleep Walk with Me

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“The greatest enemy of the spiritual life is the human tendency to sleepwalk through life.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

sleepwalk-with-me-blu-ray-cover-99From the producers of This American Life comes a film that has been critically acclaimed by some of the top film festivals in the country. Released in 2012, Sleep Walk with Me, a film from Mike Birbiglia, is about a stand-up comic whose anxiety causes a sleepwalking habit that becomes both a problem and a source of hilarity.

The film is a Sundance Film Festival top favorite among the audiences. And also a “Winner” in the SXSW (South by Southwest) Film Festival a few years back.

To watch the trailer and to read more about this film, please visit this website http://watch.sleepwalkmovie.com/

To learn more about the radio show This American Life, which is broadcast in more than 500 stations around the country, and has a following of 2.1 million listeners,please follow this link http://www.thisamericanlife.org/listen/stations. You can find information on how to tune listen in from your area on the website. Archived broadcasts of this American Life radio show are also available to download through podcasts or  on an phone app. http://www.thisamericanlife.org/listen/mobile.

What are you doing this weekend? How are you living this American life? Going through the days sleepwalking or fully engaged in all the good things life has to offer? See you back here on All Things Fulfilling on Monday. Until then, check out these sites:

http://personalexcellence.co/blog/sleepwalking/
http://yourhappyplaceblog.com/2014/03/25/are-you-sleepwalking-through-life/
http://bit.ly/1uJBTGy
This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author, Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on her memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please visit this link http://amzn.to/141aW6S.

Handwritten Memories

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Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.” ― L.M. Montgomery, The Story Girl

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If you had given me a stack of 10,000 letters without any signatures, I could immediately tell you who this note was from with one blink of an eye. I’d know the handwriting from anywhere – it’s from my friend Chris. We’ve been best friends since 1st grade. We probably passed at least 400 notes back and forth to each other on little scraps of paper, in classrooms, throughout our years in elementary, middle school and high school together. I know her handwriting as intimately as I know my twin sisters’.

Last weekend, Chris, Jan and I had a wonderful reunion. She and her husband came to my book signing in Towson, Maryland. Ever since I left for college we have been geographically separated by 500 miles or more. Our visits have been sporadic and infrequent. My only excuse for not seeing her more is a very poor one. The busyness of life often got in our way. Does that ever happen to you, too?

When Chris saw me at the book event, we hugged each other so tightly! She handed me a card and said “read this later.” It was a three page letter of her memories of our fun times we spent together from age 7 to 18.

Chris’ memories are a gift to me because she remembered some things that I had forgotten. There is also some insight into what happened to my twin and me when we were dealing with separation anxiety issues due to my pioneering heart surgery.

When I read this note from Chris to my mother she immediately began reminiscing. Mom said “whether you know it or not, Sue, your sister was more of a “basket case” then you were and you were the one going through the hard stuff. With Jan, I had I much more to deal with.” My memories of that time in my life are included in my memoir so my mothers comments were not surprising.

DSCN2778Above:  Chris, Sue & Jan – friends since lst grade. Here we are now. In my memoir we are pictured as much younger women.

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Above: Joined with Linda, another childhood  friend. I think Linda was dreaming about our elementary school daze!

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This blog brought to you by the award-winning author of “Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected,” Sue Batton Leonard.

See you on Monday!